Archive for the ‘Cycles’ Category

Visualization of the Radcliffe Wave. The wave is marked by red dots. The Sun is represented by a yellow dot to show our proximity to this huge structure. Courtesy of Alyssa Goodman/Harvard University

Scientists have previously reported evidence for a 26-million-year cycle of extinction on Earth, but the idea has remained controversial and unexplained. Now the discovery of the Radcliffe Wave may offer an explanation, but has anyone so far said so?

The team also found the wave interacts with the Sun. It crossed our path about 13 million years ago and will again in another 13 million years. What happened during this encounter is also unknown.

“There was no obvious mass extinction event 13 million years ago, so although we were crossing a sort of minefield back then, it did not leave an obvious mark,” Alves said. “Still, with the advent of more sensitive mass spectrometers, it is likely we will find some sort of mark left on the planet.”

13+13 = 26 (million). Can such a mark be found?
– – –
From the article, ‘Something Appears to Have Collided with the Milky Way and Created a Huge Wave in the Galactic Plane’:


Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) [credit: NASA-JPL]

AMO & PDO – RIP. That’s the claim here anyway. Might be news to NASA and others.

Recently, meteorologists report that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) do not appear to exist, says Tech Explorist.

The discovery could have implications for both the validity of previous studies attributing past trends to these hypothetical natural oscillations and for the prospects of decade-scale climate predictability.

The discovery is based on observational data and climate model simulations, that shows there was no reliable proof for decadal or longer-term internal oscillatory signals that could be separated from climatic noise— arbitrary year to year variation.

The apparent main swaying is the well-known El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO).


Mount Etna, Sicily

The article says: ‘Every 6.4 years, the axes line up and the wobble fades for a short time.’ This looks a lot like 5.4 Chandler wobbles (CW), so you would have 6.4 years minus 5.4 CW = 1 cycle, i.e. 32:27 ratio = 5 (32-27) cycles.
Much more analysis of this time period and related matters in this 2013 Talkshop post:
Ian Wilson: Solar System Timings Evolved Lunar Orbital Elements Linked to Earth’s Chandler Wobble

New research suggests forces pulling on Earth’s surface as the planet spins may trigger earthquakes and eruptions at volcanoes, reports

Seismic activity and bursts of magma near Italy’s Mount Etna increased when Earth’s rotational axis was furthest from its geographic axis, according to a new study comparing changes in Earth’s rotation to activity at the well-known Italian volcano.


Variation in solar activity during a recent sunspot cycle [credit: Wikipedia]

A new study has found winters in northern China have been warming since 4,000BC – regardless of human activity – but the mainland scientists behind the research warn there is no room for complacency or inaction on climate change, with the prospect of a sudden global cooling also posing a danger.

The study found that winds from Arctic Siberia have been growing weaker, the conifer tree line has been retreating north, and there has been a steady rise in biodiversity in a general warming trend that continues today. It appears to have little to do with the increase in greenhouse gases which began with the industrial revolution, according to the researchers.


Jupiter-Saturn-Earth orbits chart

This was just about to go live when a new idea involving the Sun cropped up, now added to the original. The source data is from NASA JPL as usual.

From our 2015 de Vries post we saw that the 2503 year period, which the numbers were based on, consisted of 85 Saturn and 211 Jupiter orbits [see chart on the right].

Taking Saturn’s orbit period, and using JPL’s planetary data we find:
10755.7 days * 85 = 914234.5 days

The lunar year is 13 lunar orbits of Earth:
27.321582 days * 13 = 355.18056 days

914234.5 / 355.18056 = 2573.9992 (2574) = 13 * 198 lunar years

Number of beats of Saturn and the lunar year = 2574 – 85 = 2489 in 2503 years.
2503 – 2489 = 14
Number of Jose cycles in 2503 years = 14 (= 126 Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, i.e. 9 J-S * 14).

Therefore the difference per Jose cycle between ‘Saturn-lunar year’ beats and Earth years is exactly one.


Ice core sample [image credit: Discovering Antarctica]

Of course they are pushing the usual doom and gloom messages based on dubious greenhouse gas theories, but a glimmer of light perhaps is that they accept the Earth has warmed and cooled in the past due to unknown factors. They in effect admit the obvious, namely that attribution of climate change to humans in some, or any, degree cannot be quantified at present. But the bluffing goes on.

As the pace of global warming outstrips our ability to adapt to it [Talkshop comment – allegedly], scientists are delving deep into the distant past, hoping that eons-old Antarctic ice, sediments and trees chart a path to navigate our climate future, says

“What interests us is to understand how the climate works,” says Didier Roche of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

At the Laboratory for Climate and Environment Sciences (LSCE), just outside Paris, the aim is to establish a comprehensive record of climate change dating back hundreds of thousands of years, to chart the repeated warming and cooling cycles the Earth has gone through and to try to understand what drives them.


The full GWPF paper is here. Needless to say, it offers little comfort to ‘man-made warming’ climate dogmatists. The author concludes that what is happening to the oceans today is not unusual, in historical terms.

Executive summary

• The study of ocean heat content (OHC) is a subject struggling with inadequate data, but exposed in a public forum.

• Only since the introduction of data from the Argo array have there been convincing estimates of errors. The inhomogeneity of different data sets is a major problem.

• There is no real understanding of the difference between random and systematic errors in OHC data.

• Changes in OHC are at the limits of our ability to measure, and made with much uncertainty and many unknowns.


‘Long-term’ here means really long-term. The 21k year precession period quoted looks like that of the perihelion.

In the past million years, the high-altitude winds of the southern westerly wind belt, which spans nearly half the globe, didn’t behave as uniformly over the Southern Pacific as previously assumed.

Instead, they varied cyclically over periods of ca. 21,000 years, reports ScienceDaily.

A new study has now confirmed close ties between the climate of the mid and high latitudes and that of the tropics in the South Pacific, which has consequences for the carbon budget of the Pacific Southern Ocean and the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.


The question then is: how much life will it come to, compared to recent cycles?
Cycle 25 observations in SDO HMI imagery (to October 31st, 2019)

Nov. 1, 2019: Breaking a string of 28 spotless days, a new sunspot (AR2750) is emerging in the sun’s southern hemisphere–and it’s a member of the next solar cycle. A picture of the sunspot is inset in this magnetic map of the sun’s surface from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory:


How do we know AR2750 belongs to the next solar cycle? Its magnetic polarity tells us so. Southern sunspots from old Solar Cycle 24 have a -/+ polarity. This sunspot is the opposite: +/-. According to Hale’s Law, sunspots switch polarities from one solar cycle to the next. AR2750 is therefore a member of Solar Cycle 25.

Shortlived sunspots belonging to Solar Cycle 25 have already been reported on Dec. 20, 2016; April 8, 2018; Nov. 17, 2018; May 28, 2019; July 1, 2019; and July 8, 2019. The one on July 8, 2019, was significant because it lasted long…

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Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Is there an element of circular reasoning here? Carbon dioxide levels have historically followed temperature changes, bringing any supposed causation into question.

Upside-down “rivers” of warm ocean water may be one of the causes of Antarctica’s ice shelves breaking up, leading to a rise in sea levels.

But a new study suggests an increase in sea ice may lead to a much more devastating change in the Earth’s climate — another ice age, reports Fox News.

Using computer simulations, the research suggests that an increase in sea ice could significantly alter the circulation of the ocean, ultimately leading to a reverse greenhouse effect as carbon dioxide levels in the ocean increase and levels in the air decrease.

“One key question in the field is still what caused the Earth to periodically cycle in and out of ice ages,” University of Chicago professor and the study’s co-author, Malte Jansen, said in a statement. “We are pretty confident that the carbon balance between the atmosphere and ocean must have changed, but we don’t quite know how or why.”


Mr Yoshimura would agree…

Posted: October 22, 2019 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, Cycles
Tags: ,

…with the period of ~2500 years in our 2015 blog post: Why Phi? – Jupiter, Saturn and the de Vries cycle (we use 2503y).

Or he might do, if he had read it. More correctly, we agree with him.

In the second paragraph of the introduction in his article of December 1978 in the Astrophysical Journal, which has a rather long title related to the solar cycle, he writes:


H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

An interview with Professor Valentina Zharkova on the effect of solar activity on terrestrial climate – from Conversations That Matter, with Stuart McNish.

The sun is going through a stage known as a solar or Maunder Minimum. This is where the solar activity that ignites solar flares or sun spots has decreased.

It’s a normal cycle and one that has been linked to the mini ice age that lasted more than 50 years starting in the mid-1600s.


Thanks to Ian Wilson for introducing us to his new paper, which is part three of the planned four-part series. The paper can be downloaded from The General Science Journal here. Abstract below.


The best way to study the changes in the climate “forcings” that impact the Earth’s mean atmospheric temperature is to look at the first difference of the time series of the world-mean temperature, rather than the time series itself.

Therefore, if the Perigean New/Full Moon cycles were to act as a forcing upon the Earth’s atmospheric temperature, you would expect to see the natural periodicities of this tidal forcing clearly imprinted upon the time rate of change of the world’s mean temperature.

Using both the adopted mean orbital periods of the Moon, as well as calculated algorithms based upon published ephemerides, this paper shows that the Perigean New/Full moon tidal cycles exhibit two dominant periodicities on decadal time scales.


Sunspots [image credit: NASA]

Here it’s claimed that the model matches the observations, which is surely a good start in any research. With a deep solar minimum now in progress, theorists should have plenty of new data to work with.

For 400 years people have tracked sunspots, the dark patches that appear for weeks at a time on the sun’s surface, says

They have observed but been unable to explain why the number of spots peaks every 11 years.

A University of Washington study published this month in the journal Physics of Plasmas proposes a model of plasma motion that would explain the 11-year sunspot cycle and several other previously mysterious properties of the sun.

“Our model is completely different from a normal picture of the sun,” said first author Thomas Jarboe, a UW professor of aeronautics and astronautics. “I really think we’re the first people that are telling you the nature and source of solar magnetic phenomena—how the sun works.”


Image credit:

The contention here is that in the time taken for 14 lunar nodal cycles, the difference between the number of Saros eclipse cycles and lunar apsidal cycles (i.e the number of ‘beats’ of those two periods) is exactly 15.

Since 15-14 = 1, this period of 260.585 tropical years might itself be considered a cycle. It is just over 9 Inex eclipse cycles (260.5 years) of 358 synodic months each, by definition.

Although it’s hard to find references to ~260 years as a possible climate and/or planetary period, there are a few for the half period i.e. 130 years, for example here.


Credit: Wikipedia


The researchers say: “We have detected no evidence of human influence”, so the implications of the observed long-term natural variation are clear enough. But some reading between the lines may be needed here, due to a few of the usual nods towards man-made warming theory that climate researchers feel they have to make to survive these days.

Research sheds light on 500-year Chinese climate cycle and suggests global cooling could be on the way, reports the South China Morning Post.

A new study has found winters in northern China have been warming since 4,000BC – regardless of human activity – but the mainland scientists behind the research warn there is no room for complacency or inaction on climate change, with the prospect of a sudden global cooling also posing a danger.

The study found that winds from Arctic Siberia have been growing weaker, the conifer tree line has been retreating north, and there has been a steady rise in biodiversity in a general warming trend that continues today.

It appears to have little to do with the increase in greenhouse gases which began with the industrial revolution, according to the researchers.


Credit: NASA [click on image to enlarge]

In a 2015 Talkshop post we found a resonant period of 486.5 days for the inner three of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa and Ganymede. Here the researchers find a period of 480-484 days, which clearly looks very much the same as our period, linked to recurring volcanic activity. They find this ‘surprising’, but the repeating alignments of these moons with Jupiter – at the same time interval – look to be more than a coincidence.

Hundreds of volcanoes pockmark the surface of Io, the third largest of Jupiter’s 78 known moons, and the only body in our solar system other than Earth where widespread volcanism can be observed, says

The source of the moon’s inner heat is radically different than Earth’s, making the moon a unique system to investigate volcanism.

A new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters finds Io’s most powerful, persistent volcano, Loki Patera, brightens on a similar timescale to slight perturbations in Io’s orbit caused by Jupiter’s other moons, which repeat on an approximately 500-Earth-day cycle.


Sunspots [image credit: NASA]

This looks timely as predictions of the possibly imminent – or not – start of solar cycle 25 jockey for position, so to speak. Is there a new and better method here?

In a pair of new papers, scientists paint a picture of how solar cycles suddenly die, potentially causing tsunamis of plasma to race through the Sun’s interior and trigger the birth of the next sunspot cycle only a few short weeks later, reports EurekAlert.

The new findings provide insight into the mysterious timing of sunspot cycles, which are marked by the waxing and waning of sunspot activity on the solar surface.

While scientists have long known that these cycles last approximately 11 years, predicting when one cycle ends and the next begins has been challenging to pin down with any accuracy. The new research could change that.

In one of the studies, which relies on nearly 140 years of solar observations from the ground and space, the scientists are able to identify “terminator” events that clearly mark the end of a sunspot cycle.


Quiet sun [image credit: NASA]

NASA finally agrees with our model estimate for cycle 25 published in 2013. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. Leif Svalgaard predicted that cycle 25 would be higher than 24, but lower than cycle 20.

Research now underway may have found a reliable new method to predict this solar activity. The Sun’s activity rises and falls in an 11-year cycle. The forecast for the next solar cycle says it will be the weakest of the last 200 years. The maximum of this next cycle – measured in terms of sunspot number, a standard measure of solar activity level – could be 30 to 50% lower than the most recent one. The results show that the next cycle will start in 2020 and reach its maximum in 2025.

The new research was led by Irina Kitiashvili, a researcher with the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center, in California’s Silicon Valley. It combined observations from two NASA space missions – the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and the Solar Dynamics Observatory – with data collected since 1976 from the ground-based National Solar Observatory.


A recent review article on PNAS titled ‘Astronomical metronome of geological consequence’ by Linda Hinnov makes interesting reading for talkshoppers.

A Brief Retrospective
In geology, a reliable “metronome” in the geologic record with a sufficiently short repeat time would greatly enhance the resolving power of the geologic timescale. Astronomers recognized the potential importance of a dominant 405-ky cycle in Earth’s orbital eccentricity variation for supplying such a metronome (2, 3), leading geologists to turn to the stratigraphic record of astronomically forced paleoclimate change to search for this cycle. In fact, one of the first geological studies to describe 405-ky scale stratigraphic cycling was on the Triassic–Jurassic Newark Basin lacustrine strata (4, 5) recovered in the National Science Foundation-funded Newark Basin Coring Project, in which each of the prominent 60-m-thick McLaughlin cycles in the cored sequence was assigned a 412.885- ky periodicity based on a now-legacy analytical astronomical solution, BRE74/BER78 (6, 7). Since the 1990s, there have been dozens of reports for strong 405-ky scale cycles in stratigraphic sequences from around the world that appear to bear out this astronomical calculation (8).